HC Deb 02 June 1919 vol 116 cc1667-8
56. Colonel WEDGWOOD

asked the Prime Minister whether he will have instructions sent to the British officers with Admiral Koltchak, General Denikin, and the Finns, Esthonians, etc., that, as British aid is given to these Armies, it is their duty to see that warfare is carried on as humanely as possible, prisoners and civilians correctly treated, and the good name of this country protected from association with either Red or White methods of terror?

Captain GUEST (Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury)

My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply. It is not considered necessary to issue the instructions suggested by my hon. and gallant Friend. The British Military authorities in the various Russian theatres are not only fully acquainted with the policy of His Majesty's Government, but may be trusted not to countenance barbarous methods of warfare and to report if there are grounds for supposing that reprisals of an undesirable character have bean carried out or are threatened.


In view of the accusations that have been made in the "New Statesman" against the method of carrying on warfare by the Finns and General Denikin, would it not be practicable for the Government to send out instructions calling attention to those accusa- tions and ordering that any butcheries should be immediately reported to His Majesty's Government?

Captain GUEST

The Government have got a great deal to do which is more authentic in the form of evidence than anything of that kind.


Would it not be possible to allow British war correspondents to go with those Armies as being the very best means of preventing anything of that nature, and is it not the fact that British war correspondents have been refused permission?


The hon. and gallant Member should give notice of that, as it is not included in the question on the Paper.